In a bid to combat prolonged isolation, Ada Care Center organized a parade Saturday so its residents could see their friends and relatives safely.

The nursing home can’t allow visitors the governor’s “Safer at Home” order, so a parade was one way of getting loved ones together while still maintaining social distance requirements and complying with the governor’s executive order.

The event, which took place on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, is one of an increasingly common sight: people finding ways to interact while limiting physical contact in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19.

The parade was led by Ada police motorcycle officers and Pontotoc County Sheriff’s deputies in their patrol vehicles. Dozens of cars followed, waving, cheering and honking horns as the residents watched. The parade made several circuits.

“Our staff ... worked really hard to get this all together for our patients, to get them excited about it,” Casey Williams, Regional Director of Operations for IHS Management, said. “They’ve been stuck inside for so long, we really want to get them out and get them back involved in our community, and get the community involved with them.” 

“We are doing a parade to (boost) the morale of our patients, because they’ve been on lockdown because of COVID-19,” Ada Care Center Administrator Tami Doepke said. “We want a chance for family members to get to see our residents, and vice versa. We want to let them know that we’re okay, that we’re thinking of them.”

The parade circled the nursing center for nearly 30 minutes. Frequently, passersby who were not participants would honk and wave as well.

Richard R. Barron | The Ada News

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